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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Stuffed cabbage leaves


This recipe is adapted from one of Elizabeth David's in French Country Cooking.

You'll need

100 gm (½ cup) medium-grain rice 1 Savoy cabbage, core removed 1 tbsp olive oil 180 gm bacon, diced 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 800 gm pork and fennel sausages, skins removed 100 gm coarsely grated Gruyère 2 egg yolks ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 4 thyme sprigs 350 ml white wine 50 gm butter, cut into cubes

Method

  • 01
  • Place rice in a saucepan, cover by 1cm with cold water, then heat over medium-high heat until just simmering (5 minutes). Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tender (10-15 minutes), then set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, remove 12 outer cabbage leaves, blanch until tender (1-2 minutes), drain and set aside.
  • 03
  • Cook whole cabbage heart in boiling water, removing and draining outer leaves as they become tender, then cook inner heart until tender (4-5 minutes) and drain well. Finely chop cooked cabbage and place in a large bowl.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add bacon, onion and garlic, stir occasionally until just cooked (5-10 minutes). Season to taste, add to chopped cabbage with sausage, rice, cheese, yolks and parsley, mix well, set aside.
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Form sausage mixture into six balls, wrap each ball in one blanched cabbage leaf, then use remaining outer leaves to completely cover mince and form a cabbage shape. Place in a casserole to fit snugly, scatter with thyme, dot with butter, pour wine over, cover and cook in oven, basting occasionally, until cabbage is very tender (2-2½ hours). Serve with crusty bread.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Aromatic Alsace riesling.

Featured in

Jul 2011

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